Bremen, Germany-based global third-party logistics (3PL) services provider Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) said this week it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Shanghai, China-based freight forwarder Apex International Corporation, in what it said is the biggest acquisition in the company’s history.
Financial terms were not disclosed. K+N officials said that this acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.
Established in 2001, Apex has a major presence as one of the leading freight forwarders in Asia, with a major focus in the Transpacific and intra-Asia regions. The company has roughly 1,600 employees and generates annual revenues topping $2.1 billion Swiss francs, or $2.34 billion USD, according to K+N. And in 2020, Apex handled total air freight volume of around 750,000 tons and 190,000 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) in sea freight volume.
“The combination of Apex and Kuehne+Nagel provides us with an opportunity to offer our customers a compelling proposition in the competitive Asian logistics industry, especially in e-commerce fulfilment, hi-tech and e-mobility,” said Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, in a statement. “We are looking forward to welcoming the Apex colleagues to the Kuehne+Nagel family.”
And Apex Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO Tony Song added that with Apex joining K+N, this transaction will add value to the company’s customers’ supply chains and also expand its global logistics network.
A Reuters report noted that this transaction comes amid consolidation in the sector in Asia, especially China, sparked by an e-commerce boom during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also noted that Apex remains focused predominantly on the Asian nation, giving Kuehne & Nagel the local relationships it has sought there.
Ben Gordon, Managing Partner of Cambridge Capital, an investor in niche supply chain leaders and also Managing Partner of BGSA Holdings, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisory firm focused on the transportation, logistics, and supply chain technology sectors, observed that K+N has a long history of successful acquisitions, noting that 20 years ago, K+N bought USCO Logistics in what was the largest deal they had done at the time.
“That deal was for $400M,” said Gordon. “Apex is a much larger deal, and at $1.5 billion, represents the largest acquisition K+N has ever done to date. It enables K+N to expand in Asia, which will increase from 10% to 18% of its revenue. In addition, it signals the growing consolidation in global logistics.”
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Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for
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